Hanover, Germany – Continental AG has noted a slowdown in global production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, driven largely by recent emissions-control measures in Europe.
Citing preliminary industry data, the German automotive supplier said vehicle production in Europe fell by 6% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018.
The decline was mainly due to the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) for measuring exhaust-gas emissions, the group said in an 8 Nov financial statement.
The WLTP test has been mandatory in the EU for newly registered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles since 1 Sept.
“For German manufacturers in particular, this required significant changes in production because not all models and their engine versions could be tested in advance in accordance with WLTP,” said Continental.
As a result, it added, Germany has posted a 20% decline in passenger-car production with “other countries” also posting double-digit decreases.
According to figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), September also saw double-digit declines in car production in France, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Russia and Slovakia. Romania registered a 73% year-on-year decline in car production during the month.
Production in the UK and Turkey also decreased in the reporting period, which according to Conti were due primarily to lower demand.
The ACEA figures also indicate that over the ten-month period to end of October, the overall vehicle production was 1.6% above the prior-year level in Europe.
In its full-year outlook, however, Continental forecast vehicle production volumes in Europe to remain at the previous year’s level – instead of increasing by 2%, as it had forecast previously.
Looking at projections for vehicle production worldwide, Continental said: “Due to the weaker development in Asia and Europe, we are lowering our forecast for 2018 as a whole to 0%.”
The German group had previously anticipated an increase of more than 1% in global production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.